Platforms For Hope

In her dorm room studying with her good friend Prestige, Jane Huber offered Prestige a lap desk to do his homework on. He started writing and then looked up and said, “This is the answer to education in Swaziland!” He then explained that many schools in Swaziland lack desks and that students often have to write hunched down over their knees on the floor or on a friends back, which makes it difficult to study or pay attention in class without a desk. It was in that moment that it was decided that something needed to be done and Platforms for Hope was created.

Platforms for Hope functions because of the partnerships we make with schools, Swazi communities, carpenters, and donors. We are entirely driven by volunteers.

PFH’s work begins by visiting schools and inquiring about their classroom furniture needs. If a school mentions desks, the PFH representative let the school know about our lap desks and our mininum-pay policy. Once an agreement is reached, schools order a specific quantity of desks, which they then receive on a given date.

The remaining costs of the desks is fundraised by the school in collaboration with PFH, and is supported by both local and international donations. PFH then manufactures the lap desk, buying local materials and hiring carpentry students at the High School for the Deaf in Siteki. Once produced, a PFH volunteer will bring the lap desks to the school and remain in touch with the teacher and students to see the impact of the desks.